A north-east family decided to pay for an African child’s education and medicine after gaining an eye-opening insight into life in the Third World yesterday.
James and Chloe Milne, and their children Harry and Holly, were transported to a different continent – and a way of life they could only imagine – when they stepped inside a trailer remodelled to replicate the humble surroundings of an African shack.
The trailer, run by the Compassion Experience charity, was parked at Aberdeen’s Beach Leisure Centre and offered the Milnes, and dozens of other families, the opportunity to understand the lives of the most vulnerable children in the world.
The interactive exhibit fanned in smells and played sounds typical of African streets, and was decorated in a fashion common to places like Uganda and Ethiopia.
After exploring the area, which included African children’s sparse bedrooms and living areas, Mr and Mrs Milne decided to adopt a child through the Compassion Experience.
Mrs Milne, of Aberdeen, said: “We came along to show the children how poorer people live in the world, so they could compare their situations and appreciate what they do have.
“It was quite an emotional experience.
“We decided to adopt Sedat from Ethiopia, who is the same age as my son Harry.
“We will hopefully help him get to school and pay for medicine and other important things.
“We’ll be writing letters to him as well, and Harry is really looking forward to speaking with Sedat about football.”
The Compassion Experience trailer told the story of Sameson, a boy from Ethiopia, and Shamim, a girl from Uganda.
The exhibit visited Aberdeen as part of a UK-wide roadshow, at the invitation of King’s Community Church.
The Aberdeen church has already partnered with the Compassion Experience and helps 200 children in Ethiopa, and volunteer Steve Bunn expressed his thanks to generous north-east locals.
He said: “I’ve been to Ethiopia myself and see the difference that donations from local families can make.
“This trailer is the closest we can come to letting others experience how vulnerable children live in Africa.
“Both Sameson’s and Shamin’s story that we tell in the Compassion Experience begin in hardship but end in hope, a message we hope to convey.
“It has been a really successful weekend in Aberdeen, I think it has shown people that everyone can do their bit to help one child and really make a difference.”
The Compassion Experience will continue its road-trip across the UK with a visit to Dundee next month.